Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
cispa, cybersecurity

Can CISPA Be Fixed?

from the perhaps-not dept

We've been arguing for quite some time now that we'd like to see the actual evidence for why a "cybersecurity" bill is actually needed. We've heard fearmongering and warnings of planes falling from the skies, but no evidence that there's a real problem here -- or, if there is a problem, that it needs a legislative solution. And yet, still, CISPA moves forward. Of course, while we still believe that some amendments could fix some of the more egregious problems with CISPA, there is still the big question of whether or not it's needed at all. Larry Downes has taken on the question of whether or not CISPA can be fixed and has decided that it cannot be, and that it represents a real threat to some key elements of the internet ecosystem. He lists out some key rules for policy makers (and goes into great detail on each, so click through):
  • Don’t legislate technology using definitions that are either too specific or too general
  • Don’t legislate technology until you can articulate concrete and calculable harms
  • Don’t encourage or require information sharing with the government unless it’s unavoidable
All of this seems quite reasonable... which is why it's an uphill battle to get people to follow through on it.

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  1. identicon
    Rekrul, 26 Apr 2012 @ 7:18pm

    Re: Re:

    This personal threat aside, how can anyone argue point blank that preserving the state of order at the federal level is not in the best interests of individual Internet users? Do people really think the Internet will keep humming along without fights and blackouts if the federal government takes a brutal hit?

    What's wrong with writing a narrowly defined bill that can be used for real threats, not used for anything under the sun and which has real penalties for its abuse?

    Is a denial of service attack on a web site really a serious enough threat that we need a new law and extra harsh new punishments to deal with it? Especially considering that it's the online equivalent of the Occupy Wallstreet movement. And should private companies really have blanket immunity for sharing customer's private data regardless of whether there was a valid reason to do so or not?

    If this bill was written so that it only applied to cyber threats that actually endangered lives of threatened the stability of the net, and which included penalties for the abuse of said law, nobody would have a problem with it.

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